Camping in Yellowstone

[music] Camping gives you the opportunity to experience a different facet of Yellowstone National Park. Gather around a campfire and share stories of your adventures in the park. If you’re camping in one of the larger campgrounds, head over to the amphitheater to enjoy an evening ranger program. Clear night? Bundle up and peer into the dark sky filled with a seemingly infinite number of stars. Early-riser? Take a stroll to watch the sun rise. Turn off your phone and listen to the local wildlife start their mornings, protect their territories, or communicate with each other. Sometimes, the best experiences are the unexpected ones. Camping in Yellowstone gives you a chance to experience the unexpected. So you’ve decided to camp in Yellowstone—wonderful! What type of camper are you? Do you like to backpack into a campsite miles from any development? How about tent camping in a campground? Or do you prefer to camp in a camper or RV? Camping in a national park is a memorable experience. In Yellowstone, there are more than 2,000 campsites found in the 12 campgrounds scattered throughout the park, as well as more than 300 backcountry campsites along the park’s nearly 1,000 miles of trails. Campgrounds range in size from 16 to 432 sites. Meanwhile, backcountry camping occurs at single, designated campsites that require a permit. These backcountry campsites can be less than a mile from the trailhead or many miles down the trail. Yellowstone’s campsites are in a variety of settings—along streams, near lakes, among stands of conifer trees, and in fields of wildflowers. The five largest campgrounds take reservations. The other seven campgrounds are strictly first come, first served. For more information on backcountry camping, check the backcountry camping page online or stop by a backcountry office. Plan early to get a campsite. Either reserve a site ahead of time or show up early at a first come, first served campground. Be sure to have a back-up plan if you don’t have a reservation. Campgrounds fill up early in the day during the summer months. The only campground open year-round is the Mammoth Campground, located north of the Mammoth Hot Springs. All other campgrounds open and close seasonally. Check availability at park entrances, in visitor centers, online, or within the park app. Please be aware that due to its location in prime bear habitat, Fishing Bridge RV Park allows only hard-sided RV camping. The smaller campgrounds have basic services: water, vault toilets, campfire rings, tent pads, picnic tables, a parking space, and food storage boxes. The larger campgrounds have more services, such as laundry facilities, showers, flush toilets, firewood kiosks, recycling bins, RV hookups, and dump stations. For those pulling an RV, note that no campgrounds can accommodate overly large vehicles. Check online or in the app for details on amenities and RV length limitations. Check the campground amenities to know the type of camping allowed and the services you can expect. Bring clothing for any weather. Even in summer, the weather can turn cold and wet. There is always the possibility that bears or other wildlife will wander into campsites. Always keep your campsite clean. You must store all food, coolers, and food containers in the metal bear- proof boxes provided and dispose of waste in approved trash dumpsters. These measures help keep wildlife wild, and you and future campers safe. Please be respectful of other campers so they, too, can have a memorable experience. This includes observing quiet hours. Fires are allowed only in designated fire rings. All campfires must be cold to the touch before abandoning. Use the soak, stir, and feel method to extinguish and check that the fire is indeed out. Do your part to prevent any human-caused wildfires from starting. Camping with kids? Let them help set up the campsite, cook the food, and clean up after each meal. Bring along some board games or art supplies. Participate in the Junior Ranger program. Take turns sharing stories of your adventures. Camping in Yellowstone is a great way to immerse yourself in the park and experience it in a whole new way. We hope you enjoy your stay. [music]

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